Let’s Watch A Train Wreck!

Oh the humanity....

Oh the humanity….

For seven months and thirty-one posts, you have lived for Fridays and the opportunity to find out every juicy detail about the drama that is my Millionaire Journey… and it has all built up to this one moment…. looking like a dumbass fool on national television!  Yes, the fun is all over, I’ve made it home, and now everyone will get to see my pathetic non-performance on their local ABC affiliate… including all of you, my readers with patience of steel who have endured the most dragged out story since people quit watching soap operas.  That’s why I invited you to this viewing party today, so you can see the actual show that this humble squirrel had the honor of stinking up!

Refreshments will not be served... I hope you all brought your own Zima!

Refreshments will not be served… I hope you all brought your own Zima!

It looks like some of our guests are late in arriving, so while we wait for those who operate on their own schedule… let’s take a peek at the show that preceded mine since that will be the first time I’ll get my name in lights on the small screen.  That show aired on the evening of Sunday January 28, 2001… a day when nobody was watching ABC or “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” because this was being shown on, as they like to say in the TV business, another network…

Ray Lewis would've killed anybody who didn't watch his Ravens win the Super Bowl.

Ray Lewis would’ve killed anybody who didn’t watch his Ravens win the Super Bowl.

Fortunately, the Ravens had turned the Super Bowl into a blowout by the time the lineup for the ensuing Millionaire episode would be shown, so Mom was able to pry the remote away from Dad to get this on tape.  In the clip below is the final Fastest Finger question from that show, Ed Toutant’s first two questions I didn’t get to see, and of course…. me and my gang!

(1:54) Yes, Regis always had to come up with some clever way to introduce the ten finalists for the next show, and the reference I get stuck with is to a truly forgettable reality show that just happened to be airing on ABC at the time.  Thanks a lot, Reege…


Of course I’m not the mole! I’m the squirrel, dammit!

(2:00) Poor Wynema… Regis even fucked up her name here too!  I’ll bet Regis still has nightmares about having to pronounce her name…

Wait a minute!!!  That lineup!!!  It’s…. it’s….. OMG!  That’s the lineup the female AP had on her clipboard that I glanced at during the green room interviews!!!

Seat TEN!  I was supposed to be in Seat 10!!!

Seat TEN! I was supposed to be in Seat 10!!!

The lineup given on the previous show almost always corresponded to what would be used on the following show.  As it turned out, they apparently flipped me, Earl, and Andrea around at the last minute… moving Earl to Seat 5, Andrea to Seat 10, and me to…. well…

The CURSED seat!!!

The CURSED seat!!!

And upon observation of future shows, I began to notice that the producers had a tendency to seat any…. um… large finalists in one of the two spots that did not have to go Bendy Side Out® so they could just step right out to give Regis a big bear hug.  Earl was without question the big and tall shopper amongst our group, and I seem to have been caught up in the plot to get him to a seat closer to the middle.

I thought this was supposed to be a party.  Where's the cake?

I thought this was supposed to be a party. Where’s the cake?

Oh… sorry everyone for going on another long-winded tangent you didn’t care about anyway.  OK, it looks like everyone’s here and still relatively sober.  Let’s get this viewing party started, shall we?  TD, I hope you brought enough of that chileh to share with everyone.  Bacon, will you please get Don Juan away from the punch bowl!  Merby… whatever that is you have lit, put it out please!  Draliman, stop making nasty shadow puppets on the screen!  Hodge and Podge!  Tails down in front, please!  Thank you.  Mark, will you check and see if Regis is still alive in that bathroom… he’s been in there an hour now.  Sheena, can you grab the lights please….

And now… here’s the first segment of my show that aired on Wednesday January 31, 2001, featuring the rise and fall of Ed Toutant:

(0:23) You can already see me poking out behind Regis, and get used to my ugly mug, because I’ll be there all night.  I was totally tired of seeing my face by the end of this show.  And notice how I immediately start my tendency to stare at the monitor that was to my left rather than looking straight ahead.  I’m sure even before I flunked two fastest finger questions, viewers had to already suspect I was a space cadet…

Where do we sign up for this show?

Where do we sign up for this show?

(6:40) Regis makes the ill-timed observation that Ed is “doing terrific” after nailing the $8,000… not realizing what the next question had in store for him…

(6:50) Ed’s initial reaction to seeing his $16,000 question, which I captured part of in a screenshot in my post about it, has to be seen in its entirety to be truly appreciated.  It’s probably one of the best natural “WTF?” routines I’ve ever seen…

(8:00) The ATA results are in… and Ed’s reasoning seems pretty sound.  Try to watch the next 40 second imagining you didn’t already know the answer was the unlikely “potato”… it makes the shocking reveal even more dramatically unexpected.  You couldn’t write a more surprise twist than this question provided in reality….

More shocking than a possum suddenly showing up in your shower.

More shocking than a possum suddenly showing up in your shower.

(8:50) Regis’ post mortem on the question…. a carefully crafted cop out from the show’s staff, which you can tell from the get-go he was really uneasy about having to deliver.  Remember, nobody but us in the studio that day (and of course, those who have been following my story) know that Regis flipped the fuck out over how lousy a question that was immediately after Ed had left the studio.  Our host, however, is the consummate professional…

And for all the money he was making off this show, he could afford to be as professional as necessary.

And for all the money he was making off this show, he could afford to be as professional as necessary.

OK… time for the second part of my show, featuring our formal introductions, bloody caterpillars, and Amy Turner’s first five questions, including her first gabfest:

(0:09) Poor Wynema….

(0:17) Gang signs!

(3:23) After gabbing with Amy for a minute and a half, Regis finally remembers he has a game show to conduct…

We can do the talk show segment after everyone has left the studio.

We can do the talk show segment after everyone has left the studio.

(3:30) I apologize for the shitty video quality that starts here and lasts for about 30 seconds.

abstract squirrels art

What do you expect from 20th century technology?

OK… please put away all loose objects!  I don’t want anyone throwing things at the screen as I show you the third clip from my show… which contains Amy’s mid level questions, including the lunula question that threatened to keep our taping going into the wee hours of the night:

(0:10) Amy’s tear-jerking story about having never owned a dishwasher…

This will always be one of my favorite pictures I ever stole off the internet.

This will always be one of my favorite pictures I ever stole off the internet.

(1:50) Amy begins to go off the rails of the crazy train.  She mostly stares at her $8,000 question and does little talking for the next minute and a half.

(3:17) Amy buttering up the same audience who spelled Ed’s doom.  Rather than just straightforwardly call on her Ask the Audience lifeline, of course she has do babble about it for 15 seconds first… almost like she has to convince herself this is the right thing to do….

As opposed to just staring at the question for another two hours.  You never know, the question might blink first.

As opposed to just staring at the question for another two hours. You never know, the question might blink first.

(5:03) Regis mistakenly says the next question is for $16,000 when it’s actually Amy’s $32K.  Oh, and note that it’s just crossed the five minute mark on this clip… this question will encompass all of the remaining time on the video.  An agonizing seven and a half minutes of your life you will never get back… and you are lucky!  It was a much, much longer wait for Amy to answer this question in the studio…

Get those eye lasers ready...

Get those eye lasers ready…

(6:22) At least watching Amy and Regis struggle over who would be the best person for her to call is somewhat entertaining while we all shrivel away and die.

(7:40) My finest moment on the show.  For the entire 25 seconds or so Regis is talking to Bart on the phone before handing him off to Amy, my ADHD tendencies start to kick in due to all of the boredom and I start swiveling in my chair.  The lighting at this stage of the game is so low that it’s harder to see me over Reege’s shoulder, but you should still be able to easily make me out rotating back and forth… enough to get a clear view of the stripes running down the sleeve on my sweater.



(8:40) Oh, what does Bart say before AT&T cuts him off?  Poor Amy is so distressed that Bart was obviously not the best choice for her to call about some mark on a fingernail.

(9:40) Amy’s going for the 50/50… which is about to be the ruination of Bart.  Amy’s reaction to seeing “velum” disappear, and Regis’ chiding of Bart the Computer Programmer are priceless…

(10:07) Regis gives the answer away to anyone who was still in the dark…

(10:19) Equal time for ax-ax-ax-axilla!


Oh no, there goes the studio.

(11:30) It’s obvious at this point that Amy just wants Regis to answer the question for her… the exchange these two have here is almost comically pathetic.  By the end of it, Regis is clearly showing his frustration at all of the stalling Amy is doing… and at least he gets a laugh from the audience out of it.

bad hair day!

A tantrum, frustration… someone is having a bad fur day.

(12:27) Finally…..

OK, you can all wake up and take in Part 4.  Anyone who’s still asleep will be in for a rude awakening once Amy starts singing:

Amy’s singing segment burns up another two minutes of airtime.  At this point, who’s counting, right?

Oh, that's right.  You are, you little purple headed OCD freak.

Oh, that’s right. You are, you little purple headed OCD freak.

(3:31) This is the line of babbling that led Amy to ask for clarification on the pronunciation of “Pequod”… which you can see her struggle with starting around the 3:43 mark.

(4:54) Regis’ poor math skills on display (2001-1979=21?)… which leads to a very quick, though incorrect, final answer from Amy.

(5:26) It couldn’t have been Pequod because that’s the name of the ship in Moby Dick!

Yer darn tootin, matey!

Yer darn tootin, matey!

(5:54) Denise Speer (First contestant in the right part of the split screen) shakes her head as Regis unveils that our next fastest finger question is going to be putting movies in order.  At least I wasn’t the only one!

(6:23) Regis notes that only two of us got it right… and sounds almost surprised at our collective stupidity.  Remember how well we all did on fastest finger questions in practice?  As a group, we were knocking these babies down with 80% (40/50) accuracy… which had to be one of the best practice showings they ever had.  Then when it came down to the real thing… we coughed up a shitty 5/19 mark that is one of the worst collective efforts of any Ring in the show’s primetime history.  I was far from alone, as five of my finalist companions (Wynema, Patrick, Bobby, Earl, and Andrea) would also leave as FF 0-fers.

Let's find the stupidest people ever and put them all on the same game show!

Let’s find the stupidest people ever and put them all on the same game show!

And now… before you all pass out or leave to find some more interesting action down at the bingo hall, here is the final segment from my show covering Kevin O’Neill

(2:50) Kevin’s already had an interview segment and has answered five questions.

(3:00) It amuses me that Kevin sat with his legs crossed in the Hot Seat.  Given the delicate construction of the chair as well as the presence of that 8,000 pound swinging monitor, I’m surprised this was even possible.

(5:50) Nine questions down before the horn sounds.  In less time than it took Amy to answer “lunula”, Kevin is already six questions away from a $1,860,000 payday…. which will become a potential $1,870,000 payday now that he will have to carry over to the next show…

party squirrel

Woohoo… is the party over yet?

Yes, sadly it is time to send everyone home and make sure nobody’s trying to make off with any of my fine plastic sporks.  Thank you everyone for attending the viewing party… sorry it remained true to the story I told and I still didn’t manage to get into the Hot Seat.  But hopefully you won’t think any less of me now that I’m officially a primetime dumbass.

oil spill squirrel

You’re embarrassing to be around, ES.

Next Friday, I’ll put a big ol’ pretty bow on this grand saga I’ve told.  Be sure to come back for one final suppository dose of my Millionaire Journey.

I heard that!!!!

I heard that!!!!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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31 Responses to Let’s Watch A Train Wreck!

  1. I’m a little unsure about the skid marks…. but that’s probably because I’m a dog :o)

  2. merbear74 says:

    Look at you all famous and shit!

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I am guessing there is still no appropriate way to make an MS-13 joke about your opening intro, huh?

    I will have to watch the other clips during lunch. Yes, it’s THAT important to me. I need to learn and retain the facts covered in the questions that were asked (though I already knew lunula).

  4. These posts always amaze me and astound me and make me laugh. The game can’t be over yet!
    Let us know when your interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air will be. You have a best seller on your hands.

  5. This is the way the world ends …
    Not with a bang, but a whimper.

  6. Scott says:

    Damn, I ate all the chileh! I’ll hafta make some more. Nice thowing up the 1 3 like that. Word to yo motha.

  7. markbialczak says:

    This is the most classic post of all 483 parts, Bill. You have it all on tape in one place and now so do we. AWESOME. Like Amy singing, I went for the all caps.

    What current game or reality show can we get or convince or coerce or force you to try out for in these life and times, man? Anything good on Animal Planet?

    See you next week. Oh, yeah, Regis did fall in. He needed my elbow to grab hold of to climb back out. I turned my head and didn’t look. He’s a star, though, so his dump didn’t stink.

  8. reocochran says:

    This summary made me laugh out loud at the library. Loved the joke on Regis and also, the millionaire’s mistake on pronunciation and lastly, knowing how dedicated you have been in giving us fun and laughter: Thank you very much!!

  9. 1jaded1 says:

    Aww. Thanks for making us laugh again. I hate when things come to an end. See you next week for the finale. Now I have to wash the blood out of my ears from Amy’s singing.

  10. gentlestitches says:

    Oh that was so much fun! I had some uncharitable thoughts that involved a stage hook and a contestant but I think I will keep them to my self! 😀 You looked quite dapper there ES! Fair Dinkum!:-D

    • A stage hook on Millionaire might be funny! With the contestant in the Hot Seat, they’d just spin around and around and around. Ejector seats would be even better… though I’d have probably been the first one they shot through the roof!

  11. Kay says:

    I’m dying laughing! Good thing you had plenty of time to work on this with no bored access!

    • I was going to say I typed this up in one night, but actually, I went through all the trouble to make the videos of the show on Saturday, the first day the Bored was down, so I guess in a way, I did make use of that time…

  12. draliman says:

    It’s almost like being there! I did enjoy your “gang signs”.
    But now, back to nasty shadow puppets 🙂

  13. PigLove says:

    Tsk tsk – oh dear. I’m late to the party because of that stupid elf getting into the punch. WOW. Surely I can wait one more week. Shakes head. I’m not sure. XOXO – Bacon

  14. Scout Paget says:

    That Amy segment was excruciating and it’s the kind of reason why I didn’t watch the show. Egads. 😵

    • There;s drama, and then there’s just dragging things out much longer than they need to be. Though I never watched an episode of it, I heard “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader” was even worse at this kind of tactic…

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